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December 2015

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Page 41 of 51 40 POST DECEMBER 2015 OUTLOOK ACQUISITION O he year opened with CES and a growing number of global manufacturers showing their latest in 4K/UHD home displays. By all appearances, these displays are now becoming the norm in near-term sales. The high emphasis by many of the manufacturers on high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG) is spurring this rapid growth. While there is little 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) program material available at this juncture, there is a growing sense that the built-in sophisticated upscalars within these receivers can certainly enhance the home viewing experience of current HDTV programming. At the same time, the announce- ment of the Blu-ray Disc Association of the finalization of their specifi- cations for Ultra HD Blu-ray in May 2015 offered promise of soon-to-be- available high-quality UHD program- ming via this packaged media. The announcement placed emphasis on the HDR and extended color gamut capabilities within the specification. Separately, throughout the year, more major studios were announcing plans to master major TV programs in 4K/ UHD. Meanwhile, theatrical motion picture production continued a steady migration to 4K (and above) digital cinematography. Internationally, there have been high activities among major standardization bodies on HDR and WCG — with specific attention paid to the complexities of production workflows and most especial- ly to the associated systemization within contemporary broadcast live television infrastructures. A variety of proposals to deal with these complexities were sub- mitted by a number of organizations. The Society of Motion Picture Television Engi- neers (SMPTE) Study Group on High-Dy- namic-Range Imaging Ecosystem issued its final report in October and it is highly useful reading for all interested in this topic. Meanwhile, at another level, intense activity within the ITU Working Party 6C is being directed to finalize a report on High Dynamic Range Television Systems following extensive international meet- ings and high participation by many organizations. As the world absorbs both of these studies, we can anticipate two movements in 2016 and beyond: one, an intense focus on workflow implementa- tions that support HDR/WCG origination for episodics and features (non-live pro- gram production); and two, a heightened attention to the unique challenges that have been exposed in implementing HDR/WCG for live television throughout a typical broadcast infrastructure. On the product development front, 2015 saw an unprecedented number of new products dealing with many aspects of HDR and WCG. Canon introduced a second-generation Cinema EOS camera — the C300 Mark II — having a 15-stop dynamic range and a choice of wide color gamuts. The camera had been developed in concert with an on-set 4K/2K reference display — the DP V2410 — that incorporates HDR/WCG func- tionality. Developed to coincide with the formal introduction at NAB 2015 of the ACES 1.0 color management and image interchange framework, the new camera and reference display constitute a unique on-set HDR/WCG ecosystem that supports ACES-based on-set grading. While HDR/WDC are primarily linked with 4K/UHD, it is an inter- esting fact that most of the latest cameras and camcorders are now switchable between 4K/UHD/2K/HD and most incorporate some degree of HDR and WCG. This begs the ques- tion: Why not apply HDR and WCG to current HDTV television production and 2K motion picture production? If HDTV will increasingly be viewed on the latest 4K UHD home displays — which are rapidly incorporating HDR — it seems like a win all around to have the HDTV source material better align with the enhanced capabilities of the display. Hopefully 2016 will see close exploration of the merits of 2K/ HD RGB at 12-bits having HDR/WCG enhancements — while continuing the advancement of 4K/UHD. Despite the high attention to 4K/ UHD, startling developments contin- ued to be made in HDTV production products. The insatiable appetite for increased camera sensitivity led Canon to harness the full frame 35mm CMOS image sensor — but containing only 1920x1080 photosites in a 16:9 image format — to produce a small, lightweight box camera having unusually large photosites. These, in turn, endow the ME20F-SH camera with an unprecedent- ed ISO 4,000,000 capability. The response was immediate — wildlife producers specializing in imaging noctur- nal animals, or deep underwater, docu- mentary genres of many forms, special movie imaging applications, surveillance, military — all are presently doing test shoots and the results are quite extraor- dinary. The camera is expected to begin deliveries this month. We anticipate extraordinary and unpredictable new embodiments of HD production in 2016 as multiple creative entities exploit this new motion-imaging capability. BY LARRY THORPE SENIOR FELLOW IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING & SOLUTIONS DIVISION 1 CANON USA MELVILLE, NY WWW.USA.CANON.COM ADVANCES IN FORMATS MEET ENHANCEMENTS IN IMAGERY T

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